Instead of sidewalks filled with people shopping for the best deals at their favorite shops, the annual Cedarhurst Summer Sidewalk Sale was reduced to an indoor event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Roughly 75 Cedarhurst merchants took part in what was billed as the Central Avenue InsideWalk Sale. It began on Aug. 5 and continued on Aug. 6, 7 and 9, as participating shops opened at 10 a.m. on those days.
The summer sale, which has taken place for more than 30 years, was created to generate business during a slow time of the year by attracting customers to stores with larger-than-usual discounts. More than 80 businesses took part last year.
The Cedarhurst Business Improvement District collects a portion of the village tax on commercial property. In conjunction with the village, the money is used for improvements and promotions in the business district.
Deputy Mayor Ari Brown, a BID board member since 1998, is a strong proponent of the event. “This sale event serves as an economic engine for businesses that need to rev up revenue, and I’m glad we were able to hold some type of sales event this summer,” Brown said. “If any of the stores have a down year in sales, the sale usually helps out immensely. This will definitely help our stores during a time like this.”
Morton’s Army and Navy store discounted assorted summer clothing 40 percent. “This is obviously much different than the sidewalk sale, but we’ve had a decent amount of people come in,” storeowner Steve Silverman said. “It’s also a good way of clearing out our seasonal items. It also gets people to buy so many things on sale. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Sharona Hoffman, owner of Make It Too, an arts and crafts store, helped organize the sale by coordinating a raffle on social media that included a prize of $1,200 for a lucky shopper. “We’ve all been struggling the past few months, and I thought it was important to hold some type of sale during the summer,” Hoffman said. “Even if we only get 10 percent of what we’d usually get in business, it’s still a big help.”
Kiss and Make Up, a cosmetics store on Central Avenue, had its high-end beauty products on sale. One employee, Stephanie Andujar, said that amid the unique circumstances of the pandemic, the event creates a sense of normalcy. “This year is definitely challenging, but it’s still nice to present our community with great deals and a sense of normalcy,” she said. “I’m glad this is taking place.”
While the sidewalks were not filled with merchant wares, shoppers still made their way along them to find the best deals, this time while wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Rita Levenson, a Far Rockaway resident, said she felt comfortable taking part despite the health crisis.
“I just came to look around to see if anything catches my eye,” she said. “I think the sale is a good thing not only for the businesses, but also the shoppers, because it has let me discover a couple of stores I would’ve usually walked right past.”
Hewlett resident Nikki Obshatcko, a longtime participant in the sidewalk sale, said she was happy to be there. “I’ve been coming to the sidewalk sale almost my whole life, and it’s always great finding some great items that these stores have to offer,” she said. “It’s nice to be out and about, especially with all that has happened in the past few months.”